BEGINNER : BRING IT UP

Today's workout consists of three groups of 3 exercises, performed for 3 rounds. It's simple, it's effective, full body, and it's a little left of center. I've incorporated exercises that I feel like should have more "main course" representation in workouts, but often get put to the side. Crank some music and get committed to complete this.

WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?

  • Ruck with weight
  • 2 Dumbbells (pick the weight that's right for you -- I'd go with 10-15lbs for women and 20 for men. These exercises can also be done with a plate removed from your ruck or a kettlebell.)

WHAT EXERCISES DO I NEED TO KNOW?

TRICEPS EXTENSIONS 2 Dumbbells needed. MOD: Use one dumbbell in both hands if 2 is too heavy. Begin by standing, glutes squeezed, core engaged, feet hip width apart, feet slightly turned out. (Staggered stance is fine.) With both weights in hand, raise your arms overhead and bend your elbow, bringing the weights behind you. At this point, many will connect the weights together and extend away. I don't want you doing that this time unless you are only using one weight. I want you to keep elbows over shoulders, using the full range of motion to bring weights overhead and then a full bent elbow behind your head. Want extra spice? Hold the weights with palms up.

BENT OVER ROWS 2 Dumbbells needed. Begin by standing, core engaged, glutes squeezed. Hold your dumbbells in both hands, palms down so your wrists, elbows and shoulders are in a straight line. Hinge forward at the hips (remember those glutes), keeping your back straight while you have a soft bend in the knees. Lower your dumbbells to the floor until your elbows are straight, and keeping your back flat, row your dumbbells up until they are parallel with your chest. Keep your neck in alignment with your spine.

RUCK CHEST PRESS TLDR: Bench press your ruck while laying on the floor Begin by laying on the floor, knees bent, feet flat. Rest your ruck on your chest, top and bottom of the ruck held in both hands, elbows bent and close to your ribs. As in a bench press, press your ruck up, using the full extension of your arms, concentrating on using your pectoral muscles to power the motion.

RUCK SWINGS Begin by standing, holding your ruck by the handle at your hips. Feet should be wider than shoulder-width apart, glutes engaged, core tight. Hinging at the hips, swing your ruck between your knees. Powering the movement using your glutes and hamstrings (not your arms!), swing the ruck from between your knees to parallel to your shoulders.

RUCK DEADLIFTS Begin by standing, feet hip width apart. Rest your ruck at your toes. Hinge at the hips, bent knees, keeping a flat back, glutes firing as you pick the ruck up. (Don't curve your back! I see you!) Skim your ruck across your shins as you lift. Squeeze your glutes at the top, and then carefully skim your ruck back down your shins as your lower your ruck to the ground.

RUCK FRONT WALKING LUNGES Wearing your ruck on the front of your body to provide a physical cue to keep your body upright, lunge forward at a soft count (1,2,3,4) for 12 paces. Keep your knee over your ankle, hands on your hips, as you lunge. If your back knee cannot touch the ground, that's ok. Always remember to drive your heel into the ground as you lunge forward, rather than your toes.

BICYCLE CRUNCHES Begin on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Engage your abs as you lift both feet off the floor, bending your knees as if you're riding a bicycle. Bring opposite elbow to opposite knee.

SIDE-LYING ARM ROLLS Dumbbell needed. This is a unique core exercise we just don't do with any frequency, and it deserves a spotlight. It can be easily done incorrectly, so read the instructions thoroughly. Lay flat on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Extend your right arm up, wrist over shoulder, holding a single dumbbell in your right hand. (Your left arm can be perpendicular to your body OR at your side as in this photo.) Bracing your core and keeping your raised right arm still, shoulder in it's "pocket," roll your hips to the left side until your thigh is on the floor. This is a sneaky little ab exercise that I have grown to love. As you get stronger, you can move up to using your ruck. If you struggle with Turkish Get-Ups, this is a great first step.

WORKOUT x 3 Rounds

  • 12 x Triceps Extensions
  • 12 x Bent Over Rows
  • 12 x Ruck Chest Press
  • 12 x Ruck Swings
  • 12 x Ruck Deadlifts
  • 12 x Ruck Front Walking Lunges
  • 12 x Bicycle Crunches
  • 12 x Side-Lying Arm Rolls - Left
  • 12 x Side-Lying Arm Rolls - Right


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